How To Get There
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is located in the old clubhouse area of Jekyll Island at 214 Stable Road.
Getting onto Jekyll Island is an easy drive from exit Exit 29 off of I-95. You travel east on US 17 until you get to the causeway, State highway 520. Just past the bridge onto the island you have to pay a $3 per car parking fee. Right after the toll booth, take an immediate left onto Riverview Drive. Be careful and don’t U-Turn off the island! Then it’s just a matter of following the signs to the center. The Center is located in the old power station building that’s been a part of Jekyll since the 1900’s.
What They Do and What You Can Do
The Sea Turtle Center participates in the rescue and rehab of injured and sick sea turtles that are found along the Georgia coast. The Center opened in June 2007 and includes a veterinary hospital, rehab tanks and an exhibit hall/gift shop. You can get a schedule for the day’s treatment and lessons at the ticket counter. There are a number of scheduled events including feedings and other demonstrations by the staff. There may also be procedures performed while you’re there and you can observe from a gallery area. While we were there the staff demonstrated how to mix turtle food and there was a brief treatment of a baby turtle.
The rehab tank area allows you to get fairly close to the turtles although not within actual touching distance. There were only 2 adult sea turtles in the area when we were there. One was quite ill while the other was quite active and seemed as interested in observing people as they were him. There were also several baby turtles around as well.
The exhibit hall, which is rather small, has several interactive displays that are great for kids and that have interesting information for adults as well. They give you a little ‘passport’ that you can emboss as you visit displays to see how well you would survive as a turtle. Don’t worry, you’re not graded on the results.
The cost of a visit is $6 for adults and $4 for children 4-12. They have other programs, such as a behind-the-scenes tour, for an extra fee. I recommend visiting their web site and their blog for the the most recent information on programs and activities. The gift shop is a bit pricey but no more than average.
In The Area
There are many other activities to enjoy on Jekyll Island ranging from the beach, to golf, to visiting the historical Millionaires Village. If you’re planning a vacation there I recommend at least a long weekend, if not a full week, in order to take in everything there.
Food and gasoline are expensive on the island so you may want to plan a mainland trip for these items. Grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores can be found in both directions on US 17. Hotel accommodations there are also expensive so some people choose to stay in Brunswick, GA to economize a bit.
If you have any questions about visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center or visiting Jekyll Island or other parts of the Georgia Golden Isles please feel free to ask.